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MDS Section Q and the Local Contact Agency

What is the MDS 3.0?
The MDS (Minimal Data Set) 3.0 is the latest version of the MDS, an assessment tool used in nursing homes to assess the needs of residents.

What is Section Q?
Section Q of the MDS 3.0 focuses on resident participation in assessment and goal setting. It is designed to identify the resident’s goals and expectations relating to where s/he lives and whether s/he stays in the nursing home or transitions to other living situations. Section Q of the MDS 3.0 is to be used with all nursing home residents, regardless of payment source.

The Goal of Section Q
CMS revised the MDS 3.0 Section Q to be more person-centered, provide residents with the opportunity to express their expectations for care, engage in their discharge planning goals, and initiate a referral to explore more information on the potential of returning to the community. By including interview questions in the MDS 3.0 residents are given a voice.

The Nursing Home’s Responsibility
Nursing homes are required to notify their designated Local Contact Agency, The Long- Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP), when a resident expresses a desire to learn more about options for living in the community and consents to a referral to the Local Contact Agency. 

When a Resident says “Yes” to Section Q
Ask the resident or their legal representative if applicable for consent to make a referral to LTCOP. Fill out the referral form and fax it to LTCOP at (207)621-0509. If you do not have the referral form please contact LTCOP at (800)499-0229 or click here to download.  

What Happens Next
LTCOP will contact the individual or legal representative, referred through the Section Q process, to learn more about the resident’s natural supports, barriers, and community needs. LTCOP will provide information about options and supports in the community and collaborate with the nursing home to organize a potential transition.

When someone answers yes to Section Q it is possible this may lead to a referral for the Homeward Bound program as an option for moving into the community, if the resident meets the eligibility requirements for Homeward Bound. See the Homeward Bound page for more information.